In my last related post I started exploring what language learning may have been in the past. Some time ago I watched a film called The 13th Warrior, not a particularly memorable film except for a scene related to language learning that sent a shiver of recognition down my spine. You can watch a clip, unfortunately embedding is disabled otherwise I would have placed it in the post, the language learning scene starts about one minute into the clip, although my journey is far from complete, I have experienced enough that this rings true for me.
Is it realistic that the Arab could learn Viking just by listening? Many people actually think this part of the film is far fetched or even ridiculous, as this guy says Still, the script leaves a lot to discuss as the story is hardly believable at some times (Banderas learning viking language just by listening to them ?).
First you have to realise that this was a long journey and the camp-fire scene represented many evenings (the fades and changing weather are a clue). Although the Arab speaks a little too well on the first attempt (I think we can allow a little poetic licence) we have to remember that he is not just listening to camp-fire conversation, he would be experiencing the stops at settlements, the daily routine etc.etc. in fact he would be in a full-time, completely immersive version of Keith's TV method.
If you have the time I would appreciate your opinions.